The Hoggard Vikings used a strong effort after the break to run away from Ashley in a 52-38 victory at James Hebbe Gymnasium on Friday night.
Senior Emma Haywood scored 13 of her game-high 17 points in the second half, while Keely Britt chipped in with 12 points for Hoggard. The Vikings went 17 of 20 from the free throw line to improve to 2-0 in league play and 7-1 overall. Haywood was 4-for-5 from the field and Britt hit 5 of 10 attempts.
“We’re still learning how to win and how to put away games, but I’m proud of the way our girls responded in the second half,” said Hoggard Coach Boubacar Aw. “Emma [Haywood] did what seniors are supposed to do down the stretch, but we didn’t play our best basketball tonight and need to continue to work to improve.”
With the game tied 28-28 midway through the third quarter, Hoggard grabbed a six-point lead heading into the final frame and picked up their defensive play as the Vikings held Ashley scoreless over a 4:30 span until Lola Lovitt hit a pair of free throws. Lovitt and Dana Craig had five points each for Ashley.
Haywood responded on the next possession with her only three-ball of the contest to make it 44-33 and Tara Poteat sank two from the charity stripe to secure the result.
The Vikings used a 15-0 run in the opening frame to grab an 11-point lead after eight minutes of action before Ashley outscored Hoggard 16-5 in the second quarter to make it 20-20 at the break.
“We let up a little after grabbing the lead going into the second quarter and we need to learn how to put teams away,” Aw added. “You have to give a lot of credit to Ashley tonight for battling all game. We’ll try to build off this heading into the break and need to continue the hard work.”
Angel Smith kept the Screaming Eagles in contention with a team-high 10 points, eight of which came early in the third quarter.
There were eight ties and 10 lead changes in the game before Haywood score two points from the foul line followed by a three-pointer by Blair Barefoot late in the third period. Ashley held a 17-15 rebound advantage, but committed 18 turnovers.
The Screaming Eagles fell to 1-1 in league play and 3-5 on the year. Both teams are off until the 22nd Annual Leon Brogden Holiday Tournament Dec. 28-30.
Laney 44 Topsail 23
Baley Edwards finished with a team-high 14 points and Lexi Melville had 13 points to lead Laney past Topsail 44-23 on Friday night.
New Hanover 67 South Brunswick 31
Ayonna Cotten hit a game-high 13 points to lead New Hanover past South Brunswick 67-31 at Brogden Hall on Friday night.
Amani Muhammed and Azariah Fields chipped in with 11 points apiece as 10 different Wildcats found the scoring column. Cotten went 6 of 13 from the field and dished seven assists. Elizabeth Criner also pulled down 11 rebounds and closed with eight points.
New Hanover improved to 2-0 in conference and 5-3 overall
S. Brunswick 9-3-12-7=31